CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
The Big R
Spencer Selby


for MP

Hourglass figure
receiving threats


Lock and key at the gate
lost in song


Some combination
that suddenness built
of the tongue’s wandering eye


that sleepers enclose
in a boat sunk as it grows


that speaks behind water
an ocean of names
a blue voice calling
to an ancient love


Perfect circle, fever image
in a poem written to release
another paradox
from your head


Self as sign as suspect
greater than the whole
prison library
reciting its laws


Music moving toward a center
like a slow match burning
through an endless wall


Flames and smoke rising up
in a cloud you want to paint
with the day’s final glow


Single word picture
created because you
hope to meet its negative
two-note difference
in a book left out in the snow


Fault-line followed by a spark
crossing careless memory
with no reason at all


Telling you what you
want to hear but
cannot really defend


Telling you what
aspect of light
makes trouble for


those skeletons in the courtyard
embracing as never again


Sudden laughter back and forth
unfamiliar broken ice
scattered bones down the street


Experienced rain falling
tremor of body opening
terrible source of meaning


that can’t make out
where the path turned ugly


that can’t put down
the mark of a lifetime


that can’t stop searching
for something more effective
than a modern eye-witness
to the end